Man climbing M1 gantry 'cost public £29m'

Sign saying M1 southbound is closed, 13 June 2016
Image caption Part of the southbound carriageway of the M1 was closed while negotiators tried to talk Nicholas Muton down

A 28-hour closure of part of the M1 after a man scaled an information board gantry cost the wider economy at least one million pounds an hour, a court has heard.

It is estimated to have cost emergency services a further one million pounds.

Nicholas Muton climbed up over a stretch of the motorway in Leicestershire at midday on Sunday.

He eventually came down shortly after 16:00 BST on Monday.

The 45-year-old appeared at Leicester Magistrates' Court charged with causing a public nuisance.

Cost 'may be higher'

He did not indicate how he intends to plead, and the case was sent to crown court for a plea and case management hearing on 13 July.

The prosecution told the court about the estimated cost to the emergency services and wider economy, but they did not explain how this cost had been calculated.

They said the cost to the wider economy may turn out to be more than £28m once it has been investigated further.

Part of the southbound carriageway of the motorway was closed while negotiators tried to talk Mr Muton down.

Mr Muton, who has no fixed address, was remanded in custody until the next hearing.

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